Facebook under fire for encouraging border crisis with ads for human smugglers, cartels

Florida freshman rep asks Mark Zuckerberg to block Facebook pages that encourage ‘criminal enterprise’
Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., sent a scathing letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Wednesday for trying to “silence” conservative views on his platform while allowing human smugglers and cartels to “openly” operate on the social media site.

The Florida freshman, fresh off a visit to the southern border, accused Facebook and other social media companies of perpetuating the border crisis by providing a means for drug cartels and coyotes to post paid advertisements that encourage migrants to cross into the United States illegally.

“Facebook’s role in the crisis at the border is urgent and must be addressed immediately,” Cammack wrote Zuckerberg in a letter first obtained by Fox News.


She called on Facebook to immediately take down human smuggling advertisements.

“It is unacceptable for an American company to allow a criminal enterprise to use your platform to freely encourage and facilitate criminal activity,” she added.

Cammack recently traveled to McAllen, Texas, with other lawmakers to see firsthand the historically high number of migrants crossing the border. She said Border Patrol agents informed her that cartels and human smugglers use Facebook to advertise. Cammack said migrants also told her they relied on Facebook to arrange payments for the cartel’s illicit smuggling services.

Cammack, the youngest GOP female in Congress, also found the advertisements and Facebook pages herself and included screenshots of her searches in the letter to Zuckerberg. One is an advertisement for crossing into the United States by way of San Antonio.

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“Even more troubling was the fact that as people visited these pages, myself included, that Facebook then provided additional posts and pages of related illegal content,” Cammack wrote.


Facebook said Wednesday it prohibits human smuggling content and is reviewing the material that Cammack flagged.

“We prohibit content that offers or assists with human smuggling and remove it from our platform whenever we find it. We are reviewing the content that was highlighted to us,” a Facebook company spokesperson told Fox News.

The company’s community standards advise users not to post “content that offers or assists in smuggling of humans.”

Zuckerberg said during a hearing last month that the State Department has used the platform to share factual information with users, and that advertising smuggling services on the platform is against Facebook’s policies, and the company is “taking a lot of steps to stop it.”

“Let me just say that I think that the situation at the border is really serious,” he said, “and we’re taking it very seriously.”

Cammack’s letter comes as a Facebook board Wednesday upheld the company’s ban on former President Donald Trump stemming from his conduct surrounding the Jan. 6 riot. She said Facebook should spend more time policing drug cartels than conservatives.

“Facebook clearly has no problem monitoring and censoring conservative voices on a daily basis, so I am confident your company has the capabilities and resources to detect and prevent criminal enterprises from posting content that encourages and facilitates illicit activity,” Cammack wrote.